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 Post subject: Wedding Photography
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 6:44 am 
After consulting with Gordon regarding what kind of camera I should consider for Wedding photography, I have it down to three choices:

The Canon EOS 5D, Nikon D200, and Fujifilm S5 Pro. I would like other people's opinions on these 3 cameras before I take the big plunge and put down alot of money for a camera.

I am still a beginner, but I do great a deal of research before making these type of decisions. Please help me choose a camera =)

I would also like people's opinions of the type of lenses & flash I should use for weddings. Here's what Gordon wrote to me before:

"
cameralabs | May 23, 2007
Hi Van, I don't think the 1D Mark III is the right camera for weddings - it's really a sports / action camera, hence the 10fps shooting.

The 5D's a good choice, but I'd also consider the Nikon D200 which is much cheaper and also the Fujifilm S5 Pro which has a D200 shell, but superior tonal dynamic range - something wedding photographers value with all those white dresses!

The choice of lenses is also crucial - you'll need something bright and fast and good under low light, so f2.8 models are ideal.

Having two bodies with different lenses also covers you for long and wide shots without swapping lenses all the time."

Your input would be of great value to me.

-Van


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 6:54 am 
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Hi Van, I've moved this to the Portrait photography section as I think it's probably more appropriate than the action and sports section!

Then again, depends what kind of weddings you'll be photographing!

Anyway, once again I'd say the priorities would be cameras and lenses which can focus quickly and operate well in low light.

What would everyone else suggest?

Gordon


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 8:30 am 
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Are you going to be shooting weddings as a pro? If you are gong to be asking people to pay you for the photos then you will need two camera bodies. There is no room for excuses if your only body fails just when you are supposed to be taking photos of the happy couple. This is a one time only deal for them so you have to have the appropriate backup equipment.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 8:33 am 
I will not be shooting as a pro yet, I will be shooting as a guest in the wedding as many of my friends are getting married soon. I totally understand the need for two cameras, but right now I am just looking for the right camera and lenses to use. Your input/opinion on a camera & lenses would greatly be appreaciated.

-Van


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 10:25 am 
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Do you have a specific budget for these purchases? None of the cameras you are proposing are cheap and you will need to buy glass to go with them. Also what part of the world are you from? That may help in recommending cost effective places to buy the kit. Finally when do you need your kit by? There is very often a lead time between ordering photo equipment and it being delivered.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 3:26 pm 
I live in Southern California, near Los Angeles. As far as budget is concerned, I am just saving, saving, saving. My goal is to have enough for a Canon Mark III, but that maybe pushing it so I am looking at other alternatives. The wedding wont be till October so I think I have plenty of time still to save.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 8:42 pm 
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May I suggest just staying with a more normaly priced body like the Nikon D80?
I would invest in a superzoom like the Nikon 18-200 VR which gives unprecedented flexibility to take wide shots and only seconds after that the close up. You can do it in that quality with no other camera (except Nikon D200). You don't have to bother about changing lenses when the happening is in full swing and the picture quality is great!

I'd rather invest some of the saved money in at least one flash, better 2 or even 3. The most professional look comes from the lights that you use, not the camera! Take two Nikon SB-800. Set one on your camera to give you that extra light that the built-in flash with a large group of people cannot deliver and set the second up somewhere in the room to give some ambient light to the room that you're photographing in as a slave (better: two slaves!).
(And don't be surprised to learn, that one single SB-800 is already at 400$ or so!!! :shock: )

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Last edited by Thomas on Thu May 24, 2007 8:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 8:46 pm 
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Hi Van, may I ask why you're interested in the Canon 1D Mark III for this kind of work?

It's really designed for sports and action photography, not as a wedding or portrait camera. It's also seriously expensive and in terms of image quality you can match its 10 Mpixel resolution with a body costing much less, thereby allowing you to buy yourself at least one or two quality lenses.

You're not mixing it up with the 16.7 Mpixel 1Ds Mark II are you? That one costs even more!

Now you've said you're not doing it professionally though, there could be another thing you want it for, hence the desire for a fast camera. While there's no DSLR which can match the 1D Mark III's 10fps shooting, you do get 5fps with the Nikon D200 and Canon 30D, both of which still feel very quick and again are much more affordable.

I'd also say if you're not shooting the wedding professionally, then why not try and take some shots which the pro won't be doing? There's little point trying to compete for the exact same shots, so how about taking different ones of the wedding party - candid shots - maybe with the aim of going black and white or something else arty.

Whenever I'm invited to a wedding I always try and take photos which the pro or no-one else will be doing so the family have some different shots to go with the traditional ones...

Just a thought anyway!

Anyway, as for lenses, if I only had one for this kind of thing I'd go for a general purpose range but with a fast aperture and fast focusing. If you go full frame on the Canon or don't mind the crops of its other bodies, then the 24-70mm f2.8 is supposed to be great for this kind of thing. if I had a Canon EF-S body, I'd go for the EF-S 17-55mm f2.8. And for a Nikon, the DX 17-55mm f2.8. These would all give you an edge in low light and focusing over an f4 model, but you pay quite a lot for this privilege.

Gordon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 8:52 pm 
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Plus, again, image stabilization is one real advantage in shooting weddings as the day drews to a close and the light gets dim.
So once again: the Nikon 18-200mm VR is an excellent lens for this kind of endeavour!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 9:40 pm 
Good question Gordon. I'm not really sure why I'm so interested in the Mark III. Maybe cause of the all the hype thats been going around regarding the Mark III. It's just so tempting! It's just a thought that I've been playing around with. Nothing definitive yet. I do plan in the future to branch out of wedding photography. Sports has always been a part of my life and I love to play and watch. Plus David Beckham will be moving to L.A. Definitely plan on watching him in action during matches here in L.A. and getting some good photos.



Thank you again for your recommendations. The lenses you recommened is most likely what I will first get.

Also, could you explain to me more in detail the difference between a full-frame camera, and one thats not? Will there be a big difference in image quality? The 5D is a full-frame correct?


---------
tom,

Could you tell me more about the Nikon D200. That is one of the cameras I have considered. You also mentioned that its all about the lighting. Could you please show me some examples if you know of any online using the Nikon D200.

Thank you again for your input. It is greatly appreaciated.

-Van


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 10:00 pm 
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Just browse through this link: http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=all&q=w ... 200&m=text
You'll find 5000 photos tagged as "wedding" and "D200".
As to my suggestion with the flash(es), I'd like to draw your attention to the article http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=390 where I also show some examples of multi-flash lighting (not at a wedding though...).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 10:09 pm 
Tom,

Thank you for the links. They are most helpful.

-Van


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 11:56 pm 
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Hi Van, forum members Cornelius and Designport are both new D200 owners from different backgrounds and you can read about their experiences here:

http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=462

http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=470

As for sports, 5fps is pretty darned quick unless you're really going into very serious pro work - so again the D200 and Canon 30D look good. If you really like the look and feel of a Canon pro body though, remember the earlier 1D Mark II N still offered 8.5fps and you may be able to pick up a second hand one at a great price - bear in mind though most will have been owned by pro sports photographers though and will have gone through a lot more wear and tear than one owned by most non-pros!

Etiher way, this is an official request for you to buy a huge focal length lens and post photos of our David in the Action and Sports forum!

Oh, and yes, the 5D (like the 1Ds Mark II) is a full-frame body. At first the idea of having a sensor which matched the size of 35mm film seemed to be the holy grail for DSLRs, but there's some significant downsides beyond just higher price. See our Canon 5D long term test and our feature about Upgrading to a Canon 5D.

Gordon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 10:50 am 
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But don't forget: A lens like the fantastic 18-200mm VR is only for half-size sensors!!!
Plus you can say in general that the same equivalent focal lenght + aperture lens at a full size body has to be almost 40% larger and double the weight plus higher price than the half-size sensor lens :shock: :idea: :!:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 12:15 pm 
If you want to do wedding photography, isn't really fast primes essential? I would guess that super zoom isn't for that kind of photography since you lose the sharpness (and color?) of primes or really expensive zooms. And having a camera that at the same time gets really low noise at high ISO like the full-frames, would be a plus.

I went to a wedding this April and the photographer was carrying around two 1DsII. The one he was shoot guest with was with a smaller zoom, I didn't see what the other lens was.


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